TAMPA, Fla. -- Baseball is returning to Yankee Stadium, and so are the fans. At least 9,000 guests are set to be in attendance to cheer on the home team for the Yankees’ April 1 season opener against the Blue Jays, the club announced on Thursday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, among other large outdoor sporting venues across the state, may reopen at 20% capacity beginning on April 1. Thursday’s announcement was made in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health. Yankee Stadium's official seating capacity is 46,537, according to the team's media guide.
“The entire Yankees organization -- and especially our players on the field -- feed off the energy that our loyal and dedicated fans bring to Yankee Stadium,” said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. “Our fans have made our home a pre-eminent worldwide attraction, and their excitement is the catalyst for the championship goals we set every season. We are thrilled to be able to have them back in 2021 and promise them the highest standards for health and safety this season and beyond.
“We are heartened by the Governor’s decision to allow us to begin the season at Yankee Stadium with a 20% capacity and offer our deep appreciation for his office’s diligent work and guidance. This will be a very special year in the Bronx, and we will continue to work together with the State of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City of New York, Major League Baseball, and other health and safety experts to utilize the best and most responsible practices in our facility. We are fully committed to providing a world-class experience at Yankee Stadium in every respect.”
To begin the season, each guest in attendance will be required to take a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test with negative results or provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Each guest in attendance will be required to complete temperature checks on each gameday to gain entry.
All guests 2 years and older, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times while visiting Yankee Stadium, except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats. Facial shields without an accompanying facial covering will not be permitted.
Subject to improving public health conditions, the Yankees are hopeful of expanding capacity in early May and easing testing requirements by mid-May.
“As the COVID rates continue to improve, capacity rates will continue to increase,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo made the announcement with representatives from both New York teams in attendance, including Yankees president Randy Levine, Mets vice chairman Andy Cohen and former pitchers CC Sabathia and Al Leiter.
“I grew up on the West Coast, but I consider myself a New Yorker now,” Sabathia said. “Dealing with this COVID the past year … we’re excited to be able to get out. As a fan now, being able to be in the stadium cheering on the Yankees, I’m just excited. Continue to get vaccinated, do the right things and let’s continue to battle this thing, so by the end of the season, we can have a full stadium for the World Series.”
The Yankees’ first 11 regular-season home dates (through April 21) have been designated as "Limited Capacity Games." Tickets will be sold in pods ranging between one and eight seats for those games, with Yankees season-ticket licensees receiving the first opportunities to purchase.
Most pods will be sold in groups of two or four. On-sale dates and details for tickets that may be available for the general public will be announced shortly. All tickets will be delivered digitally/mobile-only and available on mobile devices via the MLB Ballpark app. No paper tickets will be issued.
To reduce and avoid contact between cash and food/retail handling, all Yankee Stadium retail food and beverage locations will be cashless and will only accept credit/debit cards, advanced purchases and touchless payments. Additionally, mobile ordering and pickup through Uber Eats will be available at select stands on the field and main levels.
For guests who wish to pay with cash, cash conversion stations (e.g., reverse ATM machines) will be available at four locations throughout Yankee Stadium issuing no-fee, prepaid debit cards starting at $1 minimum denomination. The prepaid debit card can be used at any food or retail location inside Yankee Stadium. Any remaining funds left on the prepaid debit card can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.